Saturday, June 10, 2006

Leave a legacy -- tell your story

Leave a legacy -- tell your story.

Your personal understanding of history and advances in technology will make most interesting reading to those that follow.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I don't like Historians. (Notice the capital "H".)

In Ol' Myrt's experience, it is the personal diaries and letters from people of the US Civil War era that make the story come alive in my eyes. While I don't have a surviving notation by an ancestor, it has proved most enlightening to read items left behind by those living in the same county or serving in the same military units as my progenitors.

I prefer the tone and flow of words written by the average Joe to stilted lines by an "official" college-trained Historian whose editors require strict adherence to the current thought in the most politically correct terms.

Don't get me wrong, I do love Historians who give the facts of time, place, troop movements and arrival of ships.

Ol' Myrt gets concerned when the reporting of facts get mingled with morality-ridden over-analysis.

I've recently been reading SEATTLE THEN & NOW that includes decades of newspaper articles condensed into this informative history book. Those sorts of books really get Ol' Myrt excited about the lives of her ancestors at the turn of the previous century. Thankfully, this understanding is currently being augmented by my father's running commentary, as we pack Blanche into the car for short afternoon drives. Now I cannot go up Queen Ann Avenue's great south-side hill without imagining that as a child, my Aunt Beverly accepted my dad's challenge to beat the trolley up to the top for a dime. (Neither he nor his brother Jack have paid up yet!) Talk of this personal history, Dad's story, is something else to do when sitting in the ER waiting room for Blanche's latest evaluation.

Many of Myrt's readers are now the oldest generation on the living family tree. Please, take the time to write down one or two stories of your life. Don't worry about an entire book. Just one or two recollections will be priceless to future generations. Wouldn't you be thrilled to have such a missive from one of your immigrant ancestors?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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